"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

Equipoint $61,626?

Fine fiscal catch by the Idaho Press-Tribune at Nampa, which asked and then made formal requests to learn how much money Canyon County spent on its abortive effort to crack down on businesses employing people who are in the country illegally.

That effort was launched, you might recall, by former Commissioner Robert Vasquez, who in 2006 ran for the U.S. House (coming in second in the Republican primary behind current Representative Bill Sali). The county filed lawsuits against four local companies (Swift Beef, Syngenta Seeds, Sorrento Lactalis, Harris Moran Seed), alleging they had hired illegal aliens and that this had cost the county money for various social and other services. It was the first time a local government had used the federal Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act against its own local businesses for this purpose.

Did that cost to the county amount to as much as $61,626? We may never know (and surely the commissioners didn’t), but that’s how much the county paid the Chicago law firm Johnson & Bell to pursue the case. Which the county eventually lost at both the federal district court and court of appeals levels.

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One Comment

  1. Alan said:

    What? No decent lawyers in Canyon County? Or even in the rest of Idaho?

    March 31, 2008

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